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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  February 24, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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>> welcome to the program. tonight, libya again. as events suggest, there may be coming a show down in tripoli. we begin with david david of "the new york times" who is in tunisia. >> he is still very much in control of the capital. the reports i heard today from witnesses in the capital are that there are checkpoints everywhere. and you don't just have to show your i.d. at the checkpoints. you have to show some enthusiasm for qaddafi and pump your 50 in the air and display your love for mr. qaddafi. they don't just want to know you're a citizen but they want to weigh what side you're on. so the people there, i think, are enormously frighten. >> and we continue with jewel jewel, from bloomberg news, who covered president obama's statement this afternoon. >> it got to a point where the president did need to speak out.
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clinton was speaking out about what he had to say. one of the reasons it took so long is the administration is very concerned for the safety of u.s. diplomats. >> rose: and for a consideration of the decision-making that may be taking place in governments around the world, we turn to john negroponte, former secretary of at a secretary of , ambassador to the united nations and ambassador to iraq. >> i mean, if there is a part of the world where there's real interest in the stability, the well being, the freedom and the economic development of the north african region, it has to be europe. if i were the president of the united states, i would work this one on a multilateral basis for the time being. there may be some time in the future where we will have to take the lead with some kind of coercive action. you can't rule that out. but it seems to me this is still a time where at least right now
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i would be advising the president, work with our friends in europe and the arab world. >> rose: we conclude with the new york bureau chief in jerusalem, ethiopia and how this story is viewed in israel. >> israel feel's bit isolated? >> it feels very, very nervous indeed. first of all, it is isolated. don't forget there really isn't a leader in the region who has a relationship with netanyahu. ding abdullah of jordan refused to meet him. >> a conversation with the distinguished scientist who is leaving as president of rockefeller university to go back to london will be seen next week. tonight. tonight we devote our attention again to libya when we continue. funding for charlie rose was provided by the following:
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: with large stretches of eastern libya controlled by opposition forces, attention today turned to the western part of the country. colonel qaddafi is strulg ling to hold on to tripoli and cities near it. there were reports towns 10 miles from the capital had fallen to the rebels and roads wither blocked into the city. more detections of top military officials who refused orders to attack civilians. joining me is david kirkpatrick of "the new york times." he is located in the tunisia town of libanin close to the libyan border. i'm pleased to have him back on the program. welcome. >> it's good to be here. >> rose: tell me what you are
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seeing and what is happening from your vantage point. >> well, what i'm seeing, the steady stream of tune easians getting our libya and a bigger exodus of egyptians is taking place in the east where the security has sort of collapsed. what people are saying as they're leaving, the word massacre comes up a lot. colonel qaddafi has deployed extraordinary force against his own people. using mercenaries, and some of them may have been trained in libya long ago and sent to other countries now coming home, against his own people, trying to order bombings of cities in the east, and there, i think a lot of the military has balked at those commands. it's a little unclear to me how
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long the situation can go on. she still very much in control of the capital. the reports i have heard today from witnesses in the capitol are that there are checkpoints everywhere and you don't just have to show your i.d. at the checkpoints but you have to show enthusiasm for colonel qaddafi. you have to pump your if it's in the air and display your love for mr. qaddafi. they don't just want to know if you're a citizen but they want to weigh what side you're on, so the people there are, i think, enormously frightened but at the same time, i hear talk, for the first time, of residents in the capitol organizing themselves to have kind of a coordinated demonstration. so far what they have had has been purely spontaneous rioting, different from egypt and tunisia. >> when you say that the rebels control a city -- not you, but it is often said -- does that mean simply that the people in the street, the same kind of protest that we saw in cairo is
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in command and, therefore, the government can't stop them? is that what we mean? >> yeah, that's right. it means these are areas where, you know, in the east -- the first time it was taken over was benghazi, the tiananmen square of libya and it was taken over with help of the military. some of the military went over to the side of the protesters and attacked other elements of the military and that's house benghazi fell and after benghazi fell it was a free for all and we have seen other areas of country, from the west and the east going over in revolt. the thing about the military here, when we think of military, we think discipline. that's not the way they do it. the military is very much organized along tribal lines. this is kind of a tribal traditional society crossed with a police state. so the military battalions often
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have their primary loyalty to their clan and their folks at home. and that's deliberate, because colonel qaddafi never wanted to have a military cue like the one that brought him to power so we like to keep the military divided. so it's not that much of a surprise that the military has fractured and crumbled. what he is relying on are these smaller but tougher and more vicious military forces and his revolutionary guard, and that's what we're seeing now around tripoli, keeping that in check. >> rose: and who is calling the shots? is he calling the shots? is that the prevailing interpretation? >> i have never heard anyone suggest that anyone here besides colonel qaddafi or maybe his son say qaddafi is calling the shots. it's really been a one-man government. the question is, who here in
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libya, in a place where civil society has been so decimated and the even the military has no credibility, who is in a position to say, look, colonel qaddafi, you no longer control your country. there's no scenario where you are going to gain control of the country. now is the time to hit the road. i'm not sure who that person would be in this kind of a situation. it's not like libya has any important allies that it depends on. it has been a rogue state for so long. so that's the mystery. i'm not sure what the situation is here. >> rose: what do the smartest people that you know and talk to see as a scenario that is possible? >> well, now you're asking me to go beyond journalism into total speculation. some of it, i think, goes to the possibility that someone, perhaps the general, will simply
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end the life of colonel qaddafi. you know, he has said he is not going anywhere, that he wants to die a martyr, and he said in his speeches that, in some ways, sounded like farewell, you know, where he extolled at great length his historic importance and his commitment to the nation. i'm not sure that he is capable of exiting standing up, and i'm not sure that anyone is going to ask him to. >> rose: i'm not asking you to go beyond journalism. i'm asking you, you have sources and as a reporter you have people that give you information on how they see things. you ask see that all the time. >> that's what i'm saying. i don't know anybody who knows how this possibly could end. but one theory that comes up is the possibility that someone would simply end the life of colonel qaddafi. >> rose: and the fear is that this could end up into a very, very bloody battle that takes
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place in tripoli, and if that is true, you have to assume that there has to be somebody fighting against people loyal to him, and i assume that has to be former military people that have gone over to the other side? >> yes, although don't underestimate unarmed protesters. i mean, we have seen, across north africa and the middle east, a great deal of courage on the part of people without weapons who were willing to throw rocks in the face of machine guns. so it's not clear who is -- it's not clear how all of this is going to play out. >> rose: and do your sources tell you, you know, people who are there in libya, who you have talked to, either by phone or otherwise, the mental state of moammar qaddafi? >> all i have is speculation,
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and his speech was evocative. i mean, everybody agrees, it was not the speech of someone who is in full control of all of their own faculties. it was disjointed and rambelling and megalo-maniacal and reading from his manifesto, his speech is odd. nobody knows what is going on underneath that turban. >> you would be in libya if you could get there, so who blocks you? is it the libyan army? >> yes, the libyan army is blocking his border very tightly right now. the boreddener tunisia is very close to tripoli and that's where they're making their stand. the border on the other side has gone over completely. it's a free-flow. the egyptian army is keeping the libyans in, letting any egyptian
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that wants to come in stroll over. >> so if you're a neighbor and want to go to libya, go ahead? >> exactly. the protesters -- especially if you're a member of the media. the rebels, like all rebels everywhere, love the media. so they were practically arranging junkets for my fellow journalists to smuggle them in and show them what is going on. >> in cairo, you and i both knew there were a number of people that were influential in the protest. do we know the same group of people who are libyans who are in a sense providing the connective tissue for this? >> well, that's the interesting thing. in the east, where it took off, there was a nucleus of families. many of whom had lost relatives in a prison massacre in 1996, and they had stayed organized. they had one lawyer representing many of them. they were in touch with a lawyer
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syndicate that very active there calling for a constitution. here, around tripoli, i don't think there was anything like that. to a certain extent of lawyer group has been active demanding constitution of law but the tripoli protest, inspired by what happened in the east, was quite spontaneous. i think they were just young men who saw what happened in benghazi and took to the streets. and then, as seems to happen in these middle east countries, you get into a cycle of martyrdom, funerals, resistance, crack down, more coffins, more funerals and so on. >> as a reporter for "the new york times" sitting on the border of tunisia what is your story? >> first of all i'm looking for a way in. second of all, i'm looking for what is going to happen to tripoli. because that's where colonel qaddafi is making his last stand. and beyond that, i'm trying to
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discern who could step into the resulting power vacuole. again, with no civil society and no military in this case really to speak of, it's not clear who would stabilize the country after colonel qaddafi guess, you know, and his most recent speech, his son called islam qaddafi said if you say goodbye to my father you're saying hello to a bloody civil war. he is not all wrong. it's not clear what kind of cohesion there is to the country when it goes through that change so that's something we're all watching carefully. >> rose: it's a fascinating story. thank you for joining us. i look forward to being able to do this again as we watch what is happening in this extraordinary moment. >> you know, it's not necessarily a pleasure to be talk on the borer but it's certainly a pleasure to be on your show. >> thank you david. david kirkpatrick from "the new york times." back in a moment.
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>> president obama made his first comment today about.crises in libya without mentioning the libyan leader by name. he condemned the use of violence and said the country would be held liable. >> as i said last week, we strongly condemn the use of violence in libya. the american people extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all who have been killed and injured, the suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable. so are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters and further punish the people of libya. these actions violate international enormous, and every standard of common decency. this violence must stop. >> rose: the president's remarks came on a day when international condemnation on the violence in libya came on an increase. the united nations president called for an end to the bloodshed. >> the violence must stop.
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attacks against the civilians are a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. those responsible for brutally shedding the blood of innocents must be punished. >> rose: joining me from washington, jewel jewel of bloomberg news. i'mablyed to have you here on the program. welcome. julianna goldman. >> thank you. >> it has been a busy day and i know the president spoke to the country at 5:15 or 5:30. why did they decide to speak out now? >> as the death toll was rising, it got to a point where the president did need to speak out. secretary clinton was speaking out and people were looking to hear what president obama had to say. one of the reasons it has taken him so long to speak out is because the administration is very concerned for the safety of u.s. diplomats, u.s. citizens that are currently in libya that they're trying to get out. there was supposed to be a ferry carrying these citizens to malta
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earlier today and they were unable to get out because of high seas and that's why you saw in the president's statement a very calibrated message where, as you said, he strongly condemned the violence that we're seeing unfold there but he did not mention qaddafi by name, the administration being very careful not to personalize this. >> rose: has the president tried to have a telephone conversation with qaddafi, as the second general of the united nations did? >> not that -- we haven't been told anything of the sort but we do know that he has been, over the past several weeks, as this domino situation has begun to unfold in the middle east, he has been speaking with middle east leaders. he did mention in his remarks today that he is sending under-secretary bill burns to be meeting with the military, to be meeting with the military leaders over there and discuss the situation on the ground in the middle east as a whole and he is sending secretary of state
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clinton to geneva to meet with the human rights council this weekend. >> what does the president think is possible? what tools do they think they have? >> well, at the human rights council, the expectation is largely that they will vote for libya to be taken off of that council. one of the things that you heard from the president when he was speaking earlier, he made a point of talking about the multilateral coordination that we have seen over the past few days in the united nations, the arab league, and he made a point of saying that the world is speaking with one voice, condemning the violence in libya and made a point of saying that the government is violating international human rights law with the mounting death tolls. so one of the things that the administration officials are saying is, when the president said that the u.s. is considering a full range of options. that's likely talking about economic sanctions, going back
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to the sanctions and reinstating those that were released in 2004. administration officials say that might be an easier route to take because of certain things still in place in libya like the leadership of colonel qaddafi. >> where is the red line? if the violence crosses that, the united states and the united nations and concerned powers around the world will have to do something? >> well, yes, that is definitely a conversation that is taking place inside in these private meetings with the president. we know that he is getting regular briefings. he met with secretary of state clinton earlier today and the keyword we're hearing is the international community speaking with one voice. they're looking to take any action that would be in a multilateral context. >> rose: have they come to the conclusion that all of this in the end is, even though it's destabilizizing is good for the united states? >> what they're saying is this
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is a domino effect that we're seeing unfold in the middle east. but the but it's not monolithic. we have to take each country by country and the ledger the united states has with each country is different. so for example the relationship with mubarak egypt, there was military aid that the u.s. was giving to egypt. in bahrain was different also. in libya what we're seeing is a different situation playing out and the u.s. does not have the kind of leverage over qaddafi that it had with other leaders that doesn't have the aid. so the things we're talking about are economic sanctions right now that can be imposed unilaterally and working with the international community to impose some of the kinds of things that you were talking about potentially multilaterally. >> rose: we often ask this question about this president, because of his experiences and because of what he had done and the life he had lived and the fact he had lived around the world, duds he have a different
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mindset about these kinds of things than previous presidents might have had? >> when you talk to administration officials, one of the things that they say is that he always keeps in mind and talks about internally in these meetings, his own experiences and situations growing up and spending time in indonesia and seeing the revolution there and the transition to democracy, so it's something that is very personal for him, and it's a voice that more sides with the up-and-comers in this administration in terms of the thinkers and less in line with some of the thinkers from previous administrations as it pertains to the middle east, so that's why some of the key players right now with the president are samantha powers, dennis mcdonough and less so dennis roth who would have been in this situation. >> rose: that is a good point. what do they worry the most
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about? what is their fear? >> well, it's probably the fear of what we might potentially be seeing right now in libya, and that is the kind of violence that is unfolding and so when you ask in the beginning, why did the president come and speak now, even though the u.s. is very wary about putting the lives of u.s. citizens in libya in dangerous and the president made a point of saying that his number one priority was the safety of citizens who are still there. it came to a point where the death toll, where the reports that we are seeing were just too great for the president to ignore, and so i think that that is the biggest concern there that, you know, we have seen the wave of the revolution to democracy; initially it unfolded peacefully in places like egypt, but how that then goes and carries on in countries from libya and elsewhere is a big concern. also i think another concern is the effect this could have on the economy and what we're
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seeing in libya, oil hit $100 a barrel today and administration officials said last year they were caught off-guard by the head winds from the european debt rise last year and that that helped stall in part of economic recovery association we're headed into the summer, heading into the summer driving season. if you see gas prices hit $5 a peril barrel that could put a real dent in the economic recovery at a time the administration feels like they're on a solid trajectory. >> thank you for joining us. pleasure to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> rose: we continue the conversation with john negroponte in washington. he has held a variety of posts including secretary of state, ambassador to the united nations and first director of national intelligence. i'm very pleased to have him back on this program. welcome. >> thank you. >> rose: how does the united states act wisely in a crises like this? >> well, i think the first thing
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it's important to know this is a marathon and not a sprint. these changes, they are abrupt changes from time to time but overall this is going to be, i think, a rather lengthy process of transition from where these countries were to where they're headed. >> rose: where are they headed? >> well, each one is headed perhaps towards more open societies, i think, towards more democratic freedoms, but i think they're going to do it each perhaps at a slightly different pace and according to their own local circumstances, but i think generally, that's the direction, towards more free and open societies. >> rose: there's this argument that the united states, for a variety of reasons, needs to seize the moment, that it needs to identify the people who are
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calling for dramatic change, because the aspirations that they have are the aspirations that this country was founded on and believe in. >> but that's where the marathon versus the sprint comes in, it seems to me. because in each of these situations, you have got to think, not only about identifying with the forces that are at work here, but you also have to think about next steps. if mubarak leaves, what happens next? what are the mechanics of the transition going to be? how are they going to channel all of that energy that was on the square into some kind of peaceful and constructive political outcome? and i think each country may have a different path in that regard. part of it depending on the degree to which opposition already exists, the degree to
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which political parties already exist and the degree to which civil society is organized, and that can vary substantially from country to country. >> is there a historical parallel that comes to your attention? >> i mean, it's a revolutionary -- i think it's a revolutionary period. perhaps the parallel most recent would be the tremendous changes in the soviet block that occurred in the 1990s. >> rose: and how are they similar and how are they different? what is going on in the northeast and what happened in central europe? >> well, i think they're similar in the sense that the existing or the former order is being challenged. i think they may be different in the sense that the older order was in the case of the arab
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world, it's not an ideological one; it's simply the fact that you have these various authoritarian regimes that are in power, but there's no particularly cohesive political thread between them. >> you remember all of the conversations during the clinton administration and -- the first and second term, about bosnia and the conversations in europe about bosnia. and frequently, the question that was raised is, you know, that if the world community doesn't do something, history will look badly at them, that these are moral questions if in fact there's blood in the street, and somebody has to be willing to take the lead. >> we're now talking about a vast area stretching all the way from iran africa. bosnia, it was a fairly limited and confined space and
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intervention was, in relative terms, i would say, a simple matter. if you're going to intervene now in what is going on in iran or in the arab world, where do you start? >> let's talk about libya. that's where the crises is at the moment. >> i think that the predicate is certainly being laid now for applying greater pressure. there's been statements not only by the president, as you mentioned, but the security council. the arab league also has deplored what is going on. there's talk in some quarters and demands by some of the oppositionist for some kind of a no-fly zone to be able to implement various -- implement humanitarian access. so i think we could build up towards towards some kind of intervention but i think it would be preferable if local
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forces were to take care of that situation rather than calling for some external intervention but i don't think you can rule it out. >> rose: where are the local forces that can do it? >> well, i'm referring to the military. i'm talking about the military, i suppose, principally and then perhaps some of the tribal elements in libya. but certainly, mr. qaddafi has succeeded in making a lot of people in his country unhappy, certainly the entire eastern part of it, the second most important city which he has lost control of and i imagine his control of the military. and in civil service they are unhappy including people that are jumping ship. >> so what is your judgment about how libya will play itself out, and do you believe qaddafi can survive. >> i think the odds are very much against mr. qaddafi, and i
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think that, in time, he will be displaced, removed. he will have to leave office. i don't have any doubt about that. but then the next question, of course, is, how quickly and under what circumstances, and that becomes much more difficult to foretell. there are authoritarian dictatorial oppressive leaders in the world that have succeeded in hanging on for long periods of time despite the emnity of their own situation and the opinions of the world over. think of zimbabwe for example. they hung on for a long, long time. look how long man well noriega succeeded in staying in power in panama. so timing is not that easy to judge, even in the present circumstances. >> rose: but in the end,
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manuel noriega lost power because the united states decided to intervene. >> i just think there's more opposition in this case. he has lost control of part of his country already. there's disaffection in this part of the society so the question is will this behavior continue or will the military turn against him and say enough is enough? i don't know. >> rose: it is argued, and you can certainly speak to this, and i think you have, with respect to egypt we had more influence with the military because we had a longer history with the egyptian military, we gave aid to the military. it's not true in libya. libya is a different place. it's more tribal. qaddafi has, on purpose, kept the military as a different possession because he feared a
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cue de gra, right? >> we didn't have the structure. it was destroyed and only recently restored when qaddafi decided to renounce weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. but there was a whole generation where there were no relationships between the united states and libya, no institutional change of any kind and with egypt it has been very substantial in recent yearses. >> so if you were counseling the president tonight, what would you be telling him? >> well, step by step. i think it's right to work with the international community. i think the arab countries seem to be looking at the situation pretty much the same way we do. the europeans, they have got to be really interested in all of this. tunisia is a stone's throw from
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italy. benghazi is only 250 miles from the island of crete. there are north africans populating every one of the the european countries, so if there's a part of the world where there's real interest, the freedom of the economic development of the region, it has to be -- if i were the president of the united states, i would work this one on a multilateral basis for the time being. there may be some time in the future where we will have to take the lead with some kind of coercive action. you can't rule that out. but it seems to me, this is still a time where at least right now i would be advising the president, work with our friends in europe and the arab world. >> are you surprised by this revolution that went from tunisia to egypt to bahrain to libya to jordan?
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>> yes, i am. i think just about everybody is. , of course, one of the things that we try to teach in our course on diplomacy and national security is all about the issue of surprise. when is something really an intelligence failure and when is it a phenomenon or a development that simply could not be foreseen? there's some spark somewhere that then sets off an interaction and a chain reaction of events that could not reasonably have been accepted. oh, there will be people afterwards who will look back at events with the benefit of hindsight, which as we all know is 20/20 vision and we will say we should have been able to see this or that. but the truth is, when you look at the world prospectively, these things are simply not that
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easy to foresee. >> this letter was written today. here is the teal, keep your pumps open, the prices low, don't bother the israelis much. as far as we're concerned you can do whatever you want out back. you can deprive your people in deception and preach intolerance from your mosque or whatever conspiracy thy theories about us as you like. you can keep your women as illiterate as you like without any capacity that you like. you can under educate your youth. just keep your pumps come and prices low and don't has el the jews too much. whatever you want out back. that attitude has held the country back and history is back, the social networks helping the youth engage against
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their leaders has released the fear that kept those in power in power. >> i think that's a bit of a caricature of what our posture has been over the years. i found it very interesting and entertaining, if you will, article, but i do think, where i would quarrel with it on substance is that i think he lays too much of the blame or responsibility at the doorstep of the united states. i think that you have to acknowledge that these political and economic situations have been the responsibility of these arab countries themselves. they're the ones who have created this situation and they have been doing it over a long time and now, as tom points out, the chickens are many doing home to roost. but i wouldn't put us out in front as far as the responsibility or the blame. we may have played a part. we may have had a role.
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there's no doubt about that. but still, it's the individual responsibility of each of these countries themselves, and now what you're seeing is the people of the region asserting themselves and wanting to take responsibility themselves for the futures of their countries, and that's fundamentally a healthy thing. >> you are a senior member of the bush administration. ambassador to iraq. deputy secretary of state. director of the national intelligence, dni. what was the attitude of the bush administration about democracy and the possibility that we see now? >> well, in a small vignette, i can tell you that when i had my job interview, if you will, with president bush before i went to iraq, i went and saw him in the oval office for about 20 minutes and he had basically one question for me. he said, do you think democracy
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is possible in iraq? and i said, yes, i thought it was. then we had a good discussion about that. but he certainly valued the establishment and the promotion of democracy in the region. and iraq, you know, there's a whole history there, but certainly iraq from a democracy point of view, from a political point of view is certainly better off than it was prior to the overthrowing of saddam hussein. i think he was supportive of the democracy agenda, but i think he got a little discouraged by the outcome of the elections in the palestinian territory and the victory of hamas in 2005. and i think that as the end of his administration approached he didn't express it quite as hard
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as he had earlier on. i think he got discouraged by the situation in egypt. i think he felt mr. mubarak was determined to hold on at all costs. and i know that he felt that the egyptians had lost an opportunity there. >> rose: especially after secretary rice's comment? >> right. and, of course, i think that now, with what's happened -- i haven't heard president bush renounce himself on events in recent weeks but i'm sure he would welcome what has happened in egypt, without a doubt. >> do you welcome what has happened in egypt? well, yes. i think in some respects, i think events in tunisia sparked
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this. there was disorder and disruption and it was clear that the egyptian government could no longer control events unless something changed. something had to give. i believe that the egyptian military felt that they were confronting a situation which, if they either repressed the populous further or held on to -- insisted and held on to their insistence that mubarak stay in office that they would have quite soon reached a situation that they could no longer control, and then i think they faced the prospect of even greater disorder. so they, i think, made the best of what was a very difficult situation. >> neal ferguson, a historian, has argued president obama missed an opportunity to get out in front of history here and
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that was an opportunity that doesn't come around very often, and this president made a mistake. you probably saw the cover story in "newsweek"? >> well, i just -- again, it's a little bit like tom friedman's, it kind of assumes that we're the controlling element here, and i think at best we have a support role. so missing an opportunity to get out in front of history, what can we do? can we prescribe the outcomes and the solutions? i think not. >> can we given couragement? yes. can we make selective use of our public statements to send nuanced signals to the region? yes, also. but let's not forget that these events are happening on the ground and that they're essentially -- they're principally governed by the actors on the ground. >> and i assume that, as a previous guest said on this program, you know, with the
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president in a situation like libya, you want to make sure all of the americans that are there, the president of the united states' responsibility is to do everything to safeguard their safety? >> of course. and that unfortunately -- there's a number of dual nationals, people that have both libyan and united states nationality. i think they number in the low thousands but in terms of expatriate americans, the number is in the hundreds, so luckily that ought to be a manageable situation. >> it's great to have you back on the program. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. ♪ ♪ . >> ethiopia is here, the new york sometimes bureau chief in jerusalem. israel has kept a low profile as the pro democracy protests spread over the middle east. the country worries that the new emerging egypt may not be as friendly and that the unrest
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could spread to gaza and the west bank and reignite in neighboring jordan. i'm pleased to have ethiopia in new york to give us an opportunity to automatic about what is happening in israel, where he is covering the politics and the decisions of that country, as it, too, tries to make sense of what is going on. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: so what is the conversation in jerusalem and tel aviv? >> it's mostly one of fear and concern. the prime minister, i spoke in kins it today, i ready it on the website today. s i wasn't there. he said, look, we have a long friendship with a country called iran and that ended. we had a long relationship with turkey and look what happened. we had 4 or 500,000 tourists going there and we don't now. we don't want that to happen with egypt or anybody else. so therefore what? that is the question. and he said, so there are we need to be very serious about our security concerns. others would say so therefore
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it's time to engage. and that's the debate. >> rose: is it simply -- making the point? >> i can't say that. the labor party. but there is stale left-discussion component. it's basically readers and writers. that's their line and that's theirs views, and the views of course of the europeans and the american administration this is the moment to engage the palestinians, this is the moment for israel to say to the arab world we're not part of this thing going on with you. become democratic. desperately get rid of your despot. >> and do they consider the fact that a democratic middle east would be better for the long-term relationship of israel with its neighbors? >> there are two views on this.
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interestingly there's a ne-yo con view which is that, the choramski view, the beush freedom review, which is the only hope is democracy; until there's democracy don't etry to make peace with your neighbors. then there's the left wing view that said, yes, long-term a -- they will be more like us and they will get it. people in charge can't use israel and designism as an excuse for their own short settings. even though many people may feel that way, the concern is what is on the path between here and there and what is likely is a lot of awful things and i'll is nervous about it. >> what happens to the treaty between egypt and israel that has served for boths? the egyptian army said it would
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honor that treaty. >> it has. >> is that -- does that offer secured for the israeli leadership? >> i think it does. it makes them feel good. these guys are guys that we know, and don't forget the egyptian military, many of them have been trained in the united states. there's the peace treaty between the two countries produced kind of a billion, billion and a half each year in military aid to egypt which involved a lot of egyptian officers here and a fair amount of interaction with the israeli military through their sinai questions and so on so i think they feel comfortably secure. if you look at new government it's not that different from the old given and the question is are the people that stood in the square going to feel like they got what they wanted. and i think the other thing, the four egyptians, the mubarak era
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represents the period of standing beside israel. so if you need aside mubarak do you also remove the relationship with israel. that's the concern for israel. >> of course here is what is interesting too. on the ground in cairo it was not about the united states. it was about their own domestic politics. >> that's true. but if you were going to change the people in power, then you would -- there is a notion that the foreign policy of the past was part of the sort of array of issues that was a problem. there is that notion there's certainly people of people who field mubarak was too close of a colleague in the united states and all of those courses required you to get rid of. that's the concern. whether they will want to thread a needle which keeps our relationship with israel.
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it's to hard to know. >> israel feels isolated. >> it feels very isolated. first, it is isolated. there is not a leader in the region that has a relationship with -- king of jordan refused to meet him. to the best of my knowledge there's been no meeting between him and king abdullah of saudi arabia or any major official. and air 1 of turkey has turned very angry toward israel. so turkey, jordan egypt were the three main relationships. he doesn't have one. >> but if you read your own paper in a police from today, suggesting that so many people in the air world said, whatever the future politics of middle
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east in terms of the change and who it merges it has become an accepted fact of israel's existence. >> yes, that's what the people quoted in the story are saying. i don't know if it's true. >> rose: i think it's true of some people. he wrote the story from morocco and has moroccan saying that and has a mad right toward? >> is there much tyke about the fact the reinvestigate and revolution, it's such an attractive alternative to the other kinds of forces that might have been at play that it ought to be encouraged. >> there is talk. certainly after the square in egypt. >> rose: and tunisia. >> we will get to libya in a minute. let's talk about egypt.
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in the beginning there was great concern. then days and days of nonviolence and really very beautiful, very admirable demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of people, there was a shift in the dialogue in israel, even mainstream numbers with pictures of sort of the joy some of the moment in the square and it set a new middle east, the new egypt. in the beginning, an irony in fear and then in a kind of happiness. and look at libya. libya is the other side of this. on the onehand you have these beautiful movement and on the other hand you have slaughter. that's the fear. couldn't forget the 43 years of of the lunacy of qaddafi where you had people that didn't pay the streets, didn't have a system and kept -- there's enormous fear of the country
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sending in chaos. >> bus it is more trouble than egypt and some of the places. there's also this: the palestinians and the wikileaks and all of that and the notion of somehow fay yod, the prime minister of the palestinian authority saying they're going to come to the security council to try to create a movement for the establishment of a palestinian state. what do you israelis think of that? >> they think it's a terrible idea. but i think again, there's -- >> >> rose: but they're encouraging fayoud in ra mall ato encourage in nation building. >> they are. >> they encourage it by beginning to be less restrict ifs. so on the one hand they want nation wilding and on the other hand they want to develop a sense of statehood and
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accountability and security yet they don't want them to declare a state in the united nations. >> that's right. because they don't want to be hemmed in by an international declaration because the negotiation is over settlements and borders, fundlily over borders. so whatever would come from the general assembly or the security council, i think it would have to be a general assembly. it would be a statement that palestine exists in the 67 borders, which is exactly what israel does not want to us delay. and they want to negotiate the boredders and they feel it's a way of avoiding the tough negotiating that has to go ton. >> the other argument that you often here and have been hearing, there's a certain point where a two step solution will be available and you will have this powerful demographic argument having to do with
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comparisons to apart hyde. there's no question that thats a serious risk. the question is, where do you reach, israeli jeuf jews living beyond the time line. they say it's not beyond. look at sinai. so you ask when will you be beyond it? i make sure we -- it's impossible to know. but even if the most liberal plan, which would involve moving, let's say, 80,000 israeli jews out of the west bank to create a state of palestine, 80,000 people being taken from their homes by a small society, it's going to rip that society apart, and netanyahu knows it and he is not rushing out to do it, and i think that there is a portion of the government out of the people that sort of thing, well, if we
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just keep waiting waiting wait, we don't have to wait to have a deal. >> thank you for coming back. >> thank you very much. >> ethiopia. >> ethan bronner. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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